The fog was thick yesterday morning. Very little wind. Just the time for an early morning walk. My son didn’t want to wait until after breakfast because the fog might disappear and we’d miss it. So out we went. It was pretty neat. Fog to the left of us, fog to the right, with some sunshine cheerfully warming us from overhead.
Just after we walked past our favourite tree at the end of the street, my son spied a black blip at the end of a sprig of fennel on the plant a few feet away. We went to investigate. Sure enough, it was an anise swallowtail caterpillar. About 3/8″ long. Wow. I was pretty amazed that he had been able to see it. Close to that one, we found another about the same size. Seeing that the plant they were on was getting rather sparse, Jim and George, the twins, are now safely munching away in our living room. Turns out we’re not quite done with raising caterpillars this year. :o)
While we were looking at some other nearby fennel plants, I came across some dewy ladybugs. Here’s a picture of one of them . . .
Mini, Mo and Jack all became chrysalises the same day. Mo had a bit of trouble with the process. Seems he didn’t have any silk. I came downstairs on Tuesday morning and it looked like Mo was silking himself to the branch. But some time afterwards, I looked at him and I couldn’t see any threads. I thought that maybe I’d been mistaken earlier and that he would silk himself later. Apparently he didn’t, because in the afternoon, I found him on the floor of the habitat. Poor fellow.
I had some tulle handy, so I made a small sling and put him back up onto his branch in hopes that if he was in a more natural position he’d still be able to pupate. And he did! I was very relieved when my son called up the stairs the next day that Mo was turning into a chrysalis. :o)
Here’s a link to a video on my Flickr account of Mo doing the last bit of wriggling to shed his caterpillar coat: “Mo’s a Chrysalis” video.